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Published: Wednesday, 2/29/2012

Receiver seeks dismissal of Horvath appeal

Robin Horvath, a former co-owner of Tony Packo's Inc. chain of local restaurants, contested orders for the sale of the business. Robin Horvath, a former co-owner of Tony Packo's Inc. chain of local restaurants, contested orders for the sale of the business.
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The receiver appointed to run Tony Packo's Inc. before its recent sale filed a new motion on Tuesday asking a state appeals court to dismiss an appeal by former Packo's co-owner Robin Horvath.

In the motion filed with the Ohio 6th District Court of Appeals, an attorney for receiver Steven Skutch argued that Mr. Horvath failed to file an appeal bond and seek a stay of the sale of Packo's. With the Feb . 4 sale of the company to Bob Bennett, owner of TP Foods LLC, the appeal is now moot, the filing states.

Meanwhile, the Packo's case being heard in Lucas County Common Pleas Court moved forward slightly Tuesday with a brief hearing at which Mr. Skutch filed a report with Judge Gene Zmuda regarding the sale of the company. Also, an attorney for Fifth Third Bank, which is owed $2.6 million by Packo's, said an agreement had been worked out between the bank and TP Foods to provide documents to Fifth Third surrounding the sale of the restaurant chain.

Earlier, TP Foods had indicated it wanted to keep the documents private.

In his appeal to the 6th District Court, Mr. Horvath had contested orders issued on Dec. 7, 19, and 22 by Judge Zmuda relating to the sale to TP Foods. The three orders pertained to control of intellectual property, trademarks, and recipes used by Packo's, Mr. Skutch's authority to sell the chain, and a confirmation of its sale to TP Foods.

On Feb. 10, the receiver had responded to the appeal by filing a motion asking the court to dismiss it, arguing that Mr. Horvath hadn't met specific criteria needed to obtain a writ from the Ohio 6th District Court of Appeals that would vacate orders issued by Judge Zmuda, and that Mr. Horvath could not sue Mr. Skutch without first obtaining leave from the lower court to make his appeal.

In Tuesday's filing, Mr. Skutch's lawyer argued that Mr. Horvath had time in January to post a bond and ask the appellate court to stay any pending sale of Packo's, but he neglected to do so. The filing cited Ohio cases in which the sale of an asset, absent a stay, extinguishes any appeal.

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